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Bannon Faces Criminal Contempt Vote by January 6 Panel; Trump Sues to Keep January 5 Records Secret; Democrats Search for Compromise on Climate Issues; Seoul Says North Korea Launched Missile from Sea; U.S. Team on the Ground Seeks Release of 17 Missionaries; First Black U.S. Secretary of State Dies from COVID-19; Jury Selection Continues in Ahmaud Arbery Murder Trial. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired October 19, 2021 - 04:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and a very warm welcome to our viewers joining us in the United States and right around the world, I'm Isa Soares in London. And Just ahead right here on CNN NEWSROOM --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The former president trying to defend executive privilege.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think this is a long shot for Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a delay game.


SOARES: All eyes on Capitol Hill, ahead of the key vote to charge a former Trump aide for refusing to cooperate with the January 6th committee. But neither he nor Trump are going down without a fight.

Officials in Haiti tell U.S. media, the gang who kidnapped 17 missionaries is willing to negotiate their release for a hefty ransom. We have all the details for you.

And it's a spacecraft not a missile. China denies launching a hypersonic weapon. So, is it all just a coverup?

ANNOUNCER: Live from London, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Isa Soares.

SOARES: Hello and welcome everyone. It is Tuesday, October 19th. And in just a few hours, the U.S. House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack, will vote on whether to hold former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in criminal contempt for refusing to comply with a subpoena. Now political analysts say the rare move is intended to send a message to other allies of Donald Trump, the committee wants to question. But Trump's team isn't backing down.

On Monday, lawyers for the former president filed a lawsuit against the committee to keep Trump era records tied to the insurrection a secret. Now the committee had asked for the documents as part of its probe. Both Trump and Bannon are trying to exert executive privilege to keep information from investigators. In addition, Trump's lawyers argue the committee is, quote, attempting to damage the country.

But remember, it was on the Trump and while the protesters attacked the Capitol to halt the certification of Joe Biden's election win. CNN's Ryan Nobles picks up the story from here.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The January 6th select committee is set to meet Tuesday night to begin the process of filing a referral of criminal content against Steve Bannon. But before they get to that, they were hit with an obstacle in the investigation and that came in the form of a lawsuit from the former President Donald Trump who filed a lawsuit against the committee and the national archives seeking to prevent the committee from getting a hold of a tranche of documents that the national archives holds from the Trump administration that the committee believes would help aid them in their investigation into what happened on January 6th.

Now this lawsuit is not unexpected. And this is the former president trying to defend executive privilege even though some legal experts argue he doesn't have the ability, especially given the fact that the current White House and said that they are not going to use executive privilege to get in the way of the obtaining of these documents.

But the former president's lawyer also arguing that asking for the documents goes beyond the scope of legislative business for the select committee which is a part of what a standard that they need to meet, when conducting investigations just like this. Now, the committee, as we said before, not surprised, that this lawsuit was coming, and one of their member, Representative Zoe Lofgren said that she believes firmly that the courts will weigh heavily on their side.

REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): I don't think it's well-founded but the former president, we know, is someone who likes to sue a lot. He's engaged in frivolous lawsuits throughout his life. I've just had a chance to begin to read it. But as outlined, you know, President Trump is the holder of, and the decider of this privilege. He went through and decided that the material should not be protected by the doctrine of executive privilege, and I think that is a definitive answer.

NOBLES: Now again, this could take some time to resolve itself. It will be a court process. It could go through a certain set of appeal, and that actually plays into the hand of the former president, because it could be used as a delay tactic and the committee does not necessarily have that much time to get their work complete. Many believe it needs to be done before the mid-term elections next year.

Still, the committee feels confident they will ultimately get the information that they're looking for.


And in the case where they're running up into trouble, with people that do not want to cooperate, as they will show on Tuesday night, they're not afraid to take the step of criminal contempt, which they will do with the former Trump ally Steve Bannon.

Ryan Nobles, CNN on Capitol Hill.


SOARES: Well, CNN analyst told us earlier why Trump might be using the latest lawsuit as a delay tactic. Take a listen.


NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Donald Trump is not the president. Joe Biden is the president. Joe Biden is the one who decides whether to apply these confidentiality rules, and he said no, as to the initial set of documents. So, I don't think it will work. And as you point out, it's a delay game. Nobody's had the chutzpah to make these argues before and Donald Trump is hoping to tie up the courts in the aspiration that Congress flips and he gets out of his subpoenas.

PREET BHARARA, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: If he can get this stuff into the courts, it takes time. And even if you get ruled against, as Trump almost certainly will be, you can appeal and you can appeal again, and you can ask for rehearings. So, it can take some time. I do think that in this matter, the law is so clear, and the understanding of the information being sought is so important, and the time is of the essence, you know, given what's going to happen in the coming year, that we could have quicker judicial rulings than we normally do, but yes, I think it is a 100 percent a delay tactic.


SOARES: Well, CNN will continue to closely follow the legal maneuvers as we just saw outlined around the insurrection probe in the days and weeks to come of course.

Now meantime President Biden is ramping up his push for his economic agenda. He's meeting with progressive Democrats and a group of moderates Tuesday to discuss the social safety net and climate change spending bill. The provision that provides incentives for power plants to use cleaner burning fuels is running into opposition from West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin. He argues it costs too much and will hurt his state's coal industry. The full Democratic caucus meets on Tuesday to discuss alternatives on the climate issue. Meantime Manchin and fellow Senator Bernie Sanders met on Monday, after a spat, Sanders saying the two Senators shouldn't be allowed to sabotage what 48 want. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are holding up the Biden agenda.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): No, no there's 52 Senators who don't agree, OK. And there's two that want to work something out, if possible, in the most rational, reasonable way. That's all.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SOARES: Well, another key part of the enormous spending bill concerns the impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. economy. Right now, about 200,000 shipping containers are sitting off the U.S. West Coast, with simply nowhere to go. The massive backlog has impacted supply chains not only in North America's largest container port but also right around the world as well. Last week, President Biden announced the port of Los Angeles would move to a 24-hour schedule in an effort of course to bring more containers onshore.

And be sure to tune in this Thursday, President Biden will join Anderson Cooper for a CNN town hall, where he'll take questions about his economic agenda. You can catch it right here at 8:00 p.m. in New York, 8:00 a.m. Friday in Hong Kong, only on CNN.

Now the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to fast track a request from Texas abortion providers to take another look at the state abortion ban. A nationwide protest erupted over the law. It effectively blocks abortions by making them illegal in Texas after six weeks in pregnancy before most women know they're even pregnant. The court's decision doesn't mean it has agreed to take up the appeal, only that it will speed up its consideration of that matter. We'll stay on top of that for you.

Now, the United States, Japan, and South Korea, taking a close look at a missile launched from North Korea earlier today. Seoul says it appears to have come from the sea near an east port and Japan thinks there might have been two missiles. CNN's Paula Hancocks is live for us this hour in Seoul. Paula, do we know whether it is one or whether it was two missiles? And more importantly, what type of missile was launched here?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, what we're hearing from the South Korean side, from the joint chiefs of staff is they believe it was one missile. They believe what they say is it appears to be a submarine launched ballistic missile. We have though heard from the Japanese side that they believe it may have been two missiles. So, we don't have clarification on that at this point.

Although they both do agree it's ballistic missiles technology, which means it violates the U.N. Security Council resolutions, and so it is being widely condemned by Japan, by South Korea, and also by the United States.

Now it does come from the area of Sinpo. This is a submarine base in North Korea. It's also where previous launches have happened of submarine launched ballistic missiles. So, we're just waiting for further clarification, from the South Korean side, and we haven't heard anything from North Korea at this point.


Usually later in the day or the following morning, we would get confirmation, we would get photos, potentially even footage later in the day.

Though we have seen in recent weeks that North Korea has stepped up the level of testing that it's done. And it's not just been quantity, it's been quality. They have been testing new weapons. According to Pyongyang in the state-run media, they say they tested a hypersonic missile, long range cruise missiles, anti-aircraft weapons. So, they really are pushing things forward which is of great concern to those in the region.

And as with everything in North Korea, the timing has to be looked at. This week, we know that today, this Tuesday, reportedly, the intelligence chiefs of the U.S., Japan and South Korea are meeting here in South Korea, to discuss North Korea, and among other things. We know that the top U.S. envoy for North Korea Sung Kim is coming to Seoul later in the week as well. Again, to talk about North Korea.

So clearly North Korea does time these to correspond to certain events that are happening, but also, an exhibition this week here in South Korea, looking at the air power of South Korea. We have heard from Kim Jong-un himself a week ago saying that South Korea is being hypocritical by pushing its own weapons program forward while criticizing the North -- Isa.

SOARES: Yes, timing is certainly interesting. Paula Hancocks for us in Seoul there. Thanks very much, Paula, good to see you.

Now, we're now learning new details about the urgent effort to free 17 kidnapped missionaries in Haiti. "The Wall Street Journal" citing a top Haitian official reports that the gang that abducted the group is now seeking $17 million for their release. A team of U.S. officials is in Haiti working with local authorities. Haitians angry over the kidnappings as well as the surge in violence, are taking part in a strike to demand action from the government. CNN's Matt Rivers is in the capital where he says people are expressing their frustration. Take a listen to this.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Normally, this street would be packed with traffic, with a lot of life, and it's a lot calmer than it normally is because many people have chosen to stay home today. Schools are closed. Businesses, many of them are closed. Different types of transportation methods here in the city have stopped. It is a form of protest from ordinary Haitians who are basically saying, enough. That these levels of violence, the level of threats from these kidnappings, they're simply too high. They're unsustainable to live a peaceful life. They're demanding action from their government. And this protest is how they're making their voices heard, at least today. That the government is going to change the situation, it's going to be very difficult, because of the level of control exercised by gangs like the one that controls that area behind me, and also other gangs in this area.


SOARES: CNN's Melissa Bell recently returned from reporting in Haiti. She's with me now live from Paris, and more on the search for the missionary. And Melissa, let's talk about this ransom. They are asking, according to "The Wall Street Journal" for $17 million. And that really puts authorities in a tight spot. What more are we hearing from the U.S. and Canadian authorities on this? Because this would worry of course, about setting precedent here.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And of course, even as they're trying to deal with saving the lives of these 17 missionary, remember that there are several children amongst them, an 8-month-old baby, it does put them in a bind. This is an extremely steep ransom that's being demanded, a million dollars per hostage. And we know that there was precedence in this.

Back in April, that very same gang, the "400 Mawozo," in that very same neighborhood, Croix-des-Bouquets, had kidnapped a group of Haitian and French missionaries at the time. The French had not confirmed that any money had exchanged hands. But the hostages had been liberated fairly quickly before the end of the very month in which they were taken.

So, this is very much the modus operandi of the group, kidnapping of groups, holding for hostage, demands for ransom. But as we were just hearing from Matt Rivers, whilst this particular case of course is being closely followed by the rest of the world, what we're talking about here, Isa, is really a blight on the day -- the everyday life of ordinary Haitians just trying to go about their business.

There has been a 300 percent surge in kidnappings in Port-au-Prince since July. You'll remember that that was the months when the country's president was assassinated in his bed. And as several Haitians told me over the course of the last few weeks when we were recovering this increase in gang violence and this growing insecurity on the streets, if the most protected person in the country is not safe, then who is -- Isa?

SOARES: Yes, that does say a lot. Doesn't it? Melissa Bell there for us. Thanks very much, Melissa.

Now, he was America's top diplomat during a turbulent time and tributes are pouring in from around the world. How Colin Powell is being remembered in the U.S. and of course, and abroad.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He rose from the highest ranks not only in the military and also in areas of foreign policy and state craft.


This is the guy who we talk about, who had teachers who looked at this African-American kid and said you can do anything.



SOARES: Now, flags at the U.S. federal buildings they're at half-staff to honor General Colin Powell a trailblazer, public servant and statesman. He died from COVID complications while battling cancer and Parkinson's. A glowing tribute to America's first black Secretary of State reflect the extreme reverence he garnered. The U.S. President remembers Powell in his decades long friend and shining example of the American dream, one who put country before party. He endorsed Joe Biden over Donald Trump for the January 6th insurrection, marking Powell's final break with the Republican Party. Now, back in July Powell spoke to journalist Bob Woodward in what would have been his last interview. Powell described his disease he was fighting well before he contracted COVID. Take a listen.


GEN. COLIN POWELL, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, you see, I've got to go to the hospital about two or three times a week. I've got multiple myeloma cancer and I've got Parkinson's disease, but otherwise I'm fine.



POWELL: Don't say no and don't feel sorry for me, for God's sake. I'm 85 years old, I got to have something.


POWELL: I haven't lost a day of life fighting these two diseases. I'm in good shape.

WOODWARD: Oh, well that's great. Well, you've never lost a day of life. I mean, think of the activist general, former Secretary of State, now oracle, right?


WOODWARD: Interestingly enough, with Powell, the wall did not go up. He was always willing to engage. He felt part of his responsibility as chairman of the joint chiefs, or as Secretary of State, was to answer questions that the public and the press had. So, you see this sometimes, he would call me his friend, and I've always made the point to him, I'm a reporter, and he said, well, we still can be friends.


SOARES: Well, another of Powell's friends, former U.S. President George W. Bush called him a great public servant and such a favor of the presidents and he earned Presidential Medal of Freedom in fact, he won it twice as you can see there. Bush also said he was highly respected at home and abroad.

Let's cross over to Nick Paton Walsh for how Powell is being remembered around the world. And you just heard there, Nick, you know, he's being described as a trailblazer, remarkable soldier, statesman. How is he remembered around the world because he also sparked some controversy? NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Yes, I mean

certainly, well I think statewide, rightfully, there is a focus on the extraordinary narrative of a man born in Harlem who served in such remarkable national security positions for the Reagan administration, for the first Gulf war, as the Secretary of State, the first part of the Bush administration. Of course, the use of that extraordinary career and tenure and symbolic nature of his rise from humble beginnings to sell the case for the Iraq war, as something that needed to be prosecuted over weapons of mass destruction. Well, I think that does inform a lot of his international legacy.

It was essentially, I think it's fair to say, an abuse of the credibility he had by the Bush administration, to put him out there, in front of the United Nations. He later recognized that I think it's fair to say, even former Vice President Dick Cheney was reported to have said to him, before the speech, you've got high poll ratings, you could afford to lose a few points.

He later recognized how unfortunately he may be seen as the man who made the case to the international community. That's credibility. The authority he brought to suggesting that solid intelligence was behind the case to invade Iraq. He later recognized as being misleading. And it didn't change the international community's opinion. But still, I think even with that to one side, and the ongoing impact it has in the Middle East now, there are very strong feelings of admiration, of love from many of the world leaders we heard from, since his death.

Let me tell you from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, he said, I'm sorry to hear of the death of Colin Powell, he was an impressive and internationally respected statesman who leaves a lasting legacy. I'm sure his life will continue to be an inspiration to many.

Yair Lapid, the foreign minister of Israel, on behalf of the state of Israel, he said, I wish to express our condolences to the family. Throughout his distinguished military and diplomatic career, General Powell is a true friend and committed partner of Israel.

And former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, at many point, the key international advocate for George W. Bush's case for the invasion of Iraq, he was very clear in saying how this was a towering figure, an American military and political leadership over many years. A hugely likeable and warm personality and a great companion.

So remarkable sense of admiration and honor for a man who gave so much of himself to the United States, but also too left I think a trail behind him of warmth and admiration for those he worked with internationally -- Isa.

SOARES: Nick Paton Walsh there for us. Thanks very much, Nick.

Now the FDA is expected to green light a mix and match approach to COVID vaccine booster shots for Americans this week. That is according to reports in "The New York Times" and several other outlets. Officials told "The Times" that the FDA might tell people to stick to the same vaccine when possible but won't recommend one shot over another. Last week if you remember, the FDA adviser heard early results from an ongoing study that found it was safe to mix boosters and might be a better option for people who got the Johnson & Johnson shot.

Well, former FDA Chief Scott Gottlieb is calling for more research into a new strain of the Delta variant circulating here in the U.K. He says there is no indication it's more transmissible than Delta.


But argued as it's important quickly identify new variants right around the globe. It comes as COVID numbers are surging in the U.K., which has few pandemic related restrictions. Still a recent report from the government found that the new variant accounts for just 6 percent of new cases.

And those warnings come of course as the U.S. could be getting a glimpse of what this winter will look like. This map shows cases starting to tick back up in some states where the weather has been getting colder. Meanwhile, cases are going down in the South where temperatures are still mild. It's similar to the pattern we saw if you remember last year. And experts have warned that the U.S. could see another surge, especially as more people head indoors during those winter months.

And we are just hours away from the second day of jury selection in the trial of three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery. The 25-year- old unarmed black man was jogging near Brunswick, Georgia in February of last year when two white men in a pick-up truck chased him down and shot him. Gregory McMichael and his son Travis face several charges, including felony murder. The third man who recorded the incident is also charged. The attorney for Arbery's family says they want justice. Take a listen.


BEN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR AHMAUD ARBERY'S FAMILY: This case is eerily similar to that of Trayvon Martin, another young African-American who was shot and killed by a citizen. The difference between Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery, is there is video for Ahmaud Arbery and we expect full justice for Ahmaud Arbery.


SOARES: Well, Arbery's mother said she never thought the day would come when the trial would begin. Meantime his father is calling the community to vote on these officials who attempted to brush aside his son's death.

Now the mystery surrounding Gabby Petito's death has gripped the world for weeks. And now her grief-stricken mother and stepfather reflecting about the final moments of her life. But they're also lashing out at Brian Laundrie and his family in an interview with "60 Minutes" Australia. Take a listen.


NICHOLE SCHMIDT, MOTHER OF GABBY PETITO: I just -- I hope that she didn't suffer and that she wasn't in any pain.

JIM SCHMIDT, STEPFATHER OF GABBY PETITO: Just hoping that at that mo --

N. SCHMIDT: That she was in a place that she wanted to be looking at the beautiful mountains.

N. SCHMIDT: I think silence speaks volumes. This -- I believe they know probably if not everything they know most of the information. I would love to just face to face ask why are you doing this. Just tell me the truth. Just want to get him in a cell the rest of his life.

J. SCHMIDT: We want vengeance and --

N. SCHMIDT: And justice.

J. SCHMIDT: -- and justice.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SOARES: Well, CNN reached out to the Laundrie family attorney about that interview. The attorney responded with a no comment. Meantime, it has been a month since Petito's remains were found in Wyoming, investigators are still searching for Laundrie.

Now the Western United States is getting ready for some potentially stormy weather. A line of storms is about to move over the region in the coming days. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has the forecast for us -- Pedram.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good morning, Isa. We are watching the Western U.S. because the storm door is really going to open up here over the next several days. And we've got a nice blockbuster setup of multiple systems coming in from Wednesday through at least Saturday, where we get not only rounds of heavy rainfall but potentially some heavy snowfall and maybe measured on the order of feet here, not just inches. So again, an active pattern here for middle of October.

But here's what it looks like. Across parts of Northern California, especially along the coast, parts of Oregon, parts of Washington, four to six inches of rainfall over the next two or three days. Get up into parts of the Wasatch, into the Rockies, that translates to snow showers. Again, in some of these areas, maybe as much as a foot or more possible going into the next three days.

That front is on the move. Temperatures for now well above normal across portions of Central U.S. but cooler and drier air is going to arrive on our doorstep, the Midwestern U.S. certainly begins to feel it here. Look at Minneapolis. That's 74 degrees on Tuesday. Snow and plenty of it, going to be on your horizon here over the next several weeks and several months. But for now, mid 70s. But notice how quickly it comes back down to reality. Back into the middle 50s.

Chicago also going in from the low to mid-70s, over the next several days, back down to the 50s. So, if you're a fan of warmth, these are the days for you to get outside and enjoy it before it changes in a big way over the next several days.

Temps, Isa, ranging from about 43 degrees in Billings, Montana to 88 down in Tampa, Florida. And in Memphis, right around the middle 70s. Isa, back to you.

SOARES: Last bit of sunshine. Thank you very much, Pedram.

Still ahead, accusations over organized human trafficking. How Belarus is luring refugees to send across the border? We will have that story for you after a very short break. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM.